DOSSIER: CONFLICTING CONFLICTS
By Elad Lapidot and Luca Di Blasi
By Luca Di Blasi
Abstract: This paper analyzes Benedict XVI’s disputed text “Grace and Vocation Without Remorse: Comments on the Treatise ‘De Iudaeis’” from 2018 not only as the specification and, in part, restoration of a traditional Christian understanding of God's covenant with Israel, but implicitly also as an attempt both to re-evaluate the Christian tradition of treatises on Jews and to revitalize a dispute between Christianity and Judaism on theological questions. Through this attempt, the limits of the idea of inter-religious dialogue between (Catholic) Christianity and (Rabbinic) Judaism become abundantly clear.
By Anoush Ganjipour
Abstract: The present paper aims to show how the return to Islam initially conceived by Muslim reformists has not been simply a conflictual reaction to the secular ideology sustaining modernity, but rather an effort to transform Islam into a religion within modernity. It argues that this return has in fact been a major paradigm shift within the theologico-political discourse of Islamic tradition and that it is this very shift that led to the reformation of this religion. In this perspective, this study shows how the reactivation of sharia by reformist thinkers did not mean a rejection of the Islamic intellectual tradition, but it was precisely the result of the encounter between this tradition and the modern social sciences. The paper then reconstructs the dialogue between Muslim reformists and 19th-century European thinkers, dialogue which was crucial in shaping Islamic reformation. It shows to what extent reformed Islam was a response of Muslim reformers to the diagnosis of the project of modernity made by European reformist thinkers such as François Guizot or Auguste Comte. Through their confrontation, the paper develops a comparison between the theoretical backdrop of European modernity and the premises of Islamic reformation as two alternative conceptions of the Enlightenment project. By discussing Kant, Foucault, Habermas and Koselleck’s thesis on the historical and philosophical roots of the European Enlightenment, this study ultimately seeks to understand in which way the theological structure of Islam has led the project of the Islamic Enlightenment in an analogous but fairly differentiated direction.
By Elad Lapidot
Abstract: This article shows how Schmitt’s work is animated by a fundamental conflict between two concepts of conflict: the one is Schmitt’s own, war, polemos, and the other one is discussion, dialogue, conversation or polemics, which may be said, accordingly, to be Schmitt’s foe. Schmitt’s project is thus described as a conflict between war and discussion: polemos vs polemics, an inner war within the notion of war. The article contemplates this basic configuration and points at some of its major significations for Schmitt’s political theology and theory of state and international law.
By Bruno Besana
Abstract: Conflicts can only be solved if the conflicting parties find common ground, and making peace achieved only by stressing what these parties have in common. And yet every conflict always already implies that there is something “in common”: the fight takes place on a common ground and the opponents are united by the same will to possess, by a common object around which their opposed needs come to clash. It might therefore be rather through the absolute elimination of everything held “in common” that conflicts can be overcome, or rather put to work in a constructive manner. Through the works of Rancière, Glissant, Blanchot, and Esposito, the idea emerges that conflicts can be transformed into a positive occurrence through a common struggle to invalidate the logic that determines the nature of the object up for dispute, the existence of the place from which to fight for it, and the role that opponents play in a common political arena. But this perspective ultimately demands that those who fight this logic renounce having anything “in common,” save for the constant work of destroying their common identity.
By Sabeen Ahmed
Abstract: Inspired by the pioneering work of Robert R. Williams and Axel Honneth, this article offers a new lens through which to consider Hegel’s infamous ‘rabble problem.’ By rethinking the conflict between the rabble and the State as a conflict between intersubjective and institutional recognition—generating a failure of reciprocal recognition—I suggest that there is embedded in Hegel’s right of necessity a right of resistance that the rabble may justifiably claim in their struggle for recognition. The existence of the rabble, I ultimately suggest, is therefore not an inevitable consequence of the State, but an indication that the State has itself failed to concretize the universal consciousness of Spirit.
By Dominik Finkelde
Abstract: Non-wakefulness proves to be a basic condition of experience, since human beings, living in webs of supernumerary information processes, can only build social relations through unacknowledged forms of passive or “interpassive” (Pfaller) structures of transference due to limited forms of being non-awake toward the properties of all kinds of things. This can cause multiple conflicts both for the individual human being reaching out to facts, as well as for political communities where one sees another as blinded by some kind of “dogmatic slumber”. The article tries to show how the concept non-wakefulness explains in what way mental states are – individually as well as collectively – in relation with objects that are necessarily “withdrawn” (Harman) from us as presented especially in contemporary debates on Speculative Realism. Furthermore, the text develops an understanding of waking-up as the latter marks the moment when a mental state of epistemic deficiency is temporarily left behind. Reality exists only insofar as it is smoothed out via unconscious structures of non-wakefulness, while in dreams objects may unconceal themselves for a short period of time when ‘secondary process’ functions (Freud) of our judgmental capacities are dropped.